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Indian Exchanges brace for the Crypto Winter

The aspirations of Indian exchanges to grow have been hampered by falling prices, the impending cryptocurrency taxation scheme, and the inability of clients to move money into exchanges.

Photo by Rahul Pande / Unsplash

WazirX, built by Indian computer scientist Nischal Chetty in March 2018, has stated that, in light of the present bear market, it is concentrating exclusively on hiring essential personnel and has reduced all other costs.

If any present employees leave, the remaining workers will have to take on greater responsibility.

The Great Indian tax burden:

Bitcoin in India was recently growing at a rapid pace. Newspaper full-page advertising featured gushing Indian celebrities extolling the virtues of investing in cryptocurrency.

However, several tariffs imposed by the government now represent an additional risk to the Indian markets, which could dry up any remaining domestic liquidity.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently recommended a 30% tax on all cryptocurrency gains in her budget address for the fiscal year beginning April 2022 to legalize the industry, which was bad news for many cryptocurrency traders.

While the potential of including value-added tax in the mix is presently being debated in the houses of Parliament, an additional 1% tax payable at the source will be applied to all cryptocurrency transfers above a particular threshold.

It’s not surprising that a crypto market would be looking to cut costs; just in the last two weeks, Coinbase Global Inc. and have announced layoffs.

However, Indian exchanges now have to deal with a new tax structure that executives believe would kill off what little trade there is. Since October, WazirX’s daily volume has decreased by nearly 95%, according to CoinGecko data. (1)

Additionally, a suspension of the United Payments Interface(UPI) in mid-April of this year made exchanges like Coinbase, CoinDCX, and others vulnerable by preventing users from funding their exchange accounts with cash.

It’s a significant change from the previous year when India was among the hottest cryptocurrency markets.

According to research firm Chainalysis, which utilized a methodology to estimate the total amount of cryptocurrency received in a country, the market there grew by more than 600 percent in the 12 months leading up to June 2021.

The new age of crypto:

Though these tax laws haven’t stopped everyone, According to Vinay Tiwari, senior vice president for finance at CoinDCX, which raised $135 million in April from investors including Pantera Capital, the company has no plans to reduce expenses.

To advertise to one of the world’s youngest populations, cryptocurrency exchanges bought full-page newspaper adverts and signed Bollywood celebrities. The cricket series between India and Sri Lanka now has Coinbase-backed CoinDCX as its official title sponsor.

Only developers and engineers are being sought after by BuyUcoin, a tiny exchange with 45 staff, according to CEO Shivam Thakral. According to Thakral, it also reduces expenditure on collaborations with social media influencers and forgoing mainstream advertising.

Since peaking last year, BuyUcoin’s trade volume has decreased by around 80%, according to him.